Yes indeed, more "escape the maze" goodness. Do I hear a collective sigh? :P

Pretty straight forward (for now..), you get dropped in to an ancient maze, and must retrieve your objective and then find your way out by solving riddles and maybe some puzzles if I get a chance to design some. Oh and Something lives in the maze...

The point of all this is to learn. At the end of this I want to be able to say that my knowledge on AI and manipulating emotions has increased. And this will also be an experiment. I want to see what scares you guys, the dark? the soft footsteps behind you? the light dying? I want to create fear, so let me know as I go along what I can make more frightening :)

1st Build: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/199184153/E-RUN!.html
1st Build screenshot: (my 'Most Interesting Screenshots of 2013' entry)

2nd Build: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/199184153/E-LURKER-B2.html
2nd Build screenshot: (turns his back towards me...)

3rd Build: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/199184153/E-Lurker-b3.html
3rd Build screenshot: (what big eyes you have...)

4th Build: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/199184153/E-LURKER-BUILD4.html

FINAL BUILD (Number 5): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/199184153/E-LURKER-Build5.html
Final Build screenshot:



  • @Pixel_Reaper - this comp is becoming E-MAZE-ing
  • @FanieG haha yeah true, first I wanted to make a platformer assassin thing, but I settled on this for the chance to learn some more procedural generation + pathfinding + more complex AI, and to see if I can give some of you guys a good scare :D
  • edited
    FINALY! after ~5 hours of wrestling with 2 bugs and implementing some proper pathfinding (none of that unity default stuff) , and a strugle with my dropbox... I present to you the first first build of my entry in all it's bare bones glory - https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/199184153/E-RUN!.html let me know how it goes! I will also put each new build link on the first post. :)

    Edit: should point out that the AI (what AI?) is very stupid. and at the moment there is no goal yet.
  • Wow... that was pretty cool, with the right music and a ugly thing chasing you this will be pretty scary
  • @RickyGC SOUND! 88.33% recurring (totally made up) of fear created must certainly come from sound right? suspenseful music, ever present ambient sounds, wet footsteps for the monster. haha I had some basic sounds in but disabled them because I was making myself scared XD and forgot to enable them again for the build, I was tired, shoot me now. and yeah with some improved stalking AI for the monster, proper model and animations, and some cool light mechanics that I thought of...It might turn out suitably scary, or at least I hope so. Thanks for trying it :)
  • HI! I have put up my second build :D its on the first post. give it a try and let me know how it goes :) (pro tip for added fun: turn lights off and put your earphones on)
  • Wow, big difference between the first and second build (amazing what some texture, lighting and sound can do)!

    The mouse control is very sensitive at the moment, will there be an option in a later build to turn that down a bit? Would also be cool if the mouse is docked within the Unity window (currently it starts floating out of the box to the corners of the website), with an option to release that control so you can once again interact with your browser.

    The monster jumping out of nowhere is cool but he's very quick at the moment, and since the momentum of your movement takes a while to react it seems like it'll get you in an instant every time (actually had one round where it jumped out just as I started moving). I imagine you've got these plans in the works but would be great if the monster stalks you for a while before revealing itself, kinda like Slender, so at first you might hear a distant roar, then after a while you hear it breathing and snuffling about... then hear footsteps as it gets closer, basically create a panic in the player as they start moving blindly around the maze not wanting to stop and check around them in case the monster is too close.

    I've played the multiplayer version of Slender in Garry's Mod with some friends, and found that the scariest thing you can do as Slender is just stalk the players rather than trying to kill them... follow them around so they can hear your footsteps, reveal yourself and stand staring at them in the distance, then disappear again. Letting the player's imagination fill out the blanks is much more effective than making the threat immediately tangible/visible.

    Looking good so far :)
  • @Gibbo Hey Thanks for the feedback :)

    Sure I can add a settings tab to the menu, could go for graphics, sound volume and as you suggest sensitivity settings, just not right at the top of the list at the moment :P

    Yeah I should take the glow off of the monster, it takes away from the suspense to much i think. and he does actually stalk you..if he sees you and is a certain distance from you, I will have to work on the stalk mode the most to make it more interesting. so yeah I have a condition on him that if you get to close to him he will kill you, thats what happens when you run into him around a corner... as for the speed, I want it like that for his hunt mode, since he needs to find you fast at the end of the timer or I risk going over 5 minutes. perhaps I can make the hunt mode two separate states. I'll add a weapon later that will serve in slowing him down though, at least to test and see if weapons will add to the idea, create some false sense of safety :P. I also want to make him back track when in his stalk mode and you start getting to close to him, and yes I still want to add a bunch of different audio ques for him.

    Unfortunately my skills dont go that deep to make him able to stalk as successfully as you stalked your friends, so I have to find ways to fake it. I also have to put in the fear of failing before the timer ends (oh and a end objective :P), at the moment if you play your cards right, he will not kill you at all while there is still time left. makes him less scary. so I want mistakes to be lethal. oh and I want to add doors :D seems trivial, but doors will add a lot to the whole experience.
  • Cool yeah that makes sense considering there needs to be a 5 minute time-limit, so prior to that the monster could be more "forgiving" and stalker-ish (unless you run right into it) but if you hit 5 minutes you're most definitely toast.

    Doors do sound like a scary addition, forcing you to briefly stop your mad rush to open them (and maybe players will be inclined to close the door behind them in the hopes of slowing down their pursuer)
  • @Pixel_Reaper - First off, I have not tried playing your latest build yet. Will try tonight when I get home and revert with feedback then, but based on @Gibbo's feedback, maybe have a look at this:


    for the cursor moving off the unity window. I had a similar issue lately and was able to sort it out with this (thanks again @Rigormortis for the help).
  • @Gibbo and @FanieG thanks guys

    mmm I did not realize the cursor was such a big problem. I will fix that when I get home. I usually right click the webplayer window and go fullscreen, I didn't have problems there, are you guys also having problems in the fullscreen mode? have been wondering If i could force fullscreen mode somehow. Will have to look into that :P

    ah imagine you are slowly walking down a corridor, and somewhere nearby you hear a door creaking open...

    or your time is up, in the distance you hear a howl, and then hear doors being crashed through as the monster homes in on you
  • @Pixel_Reaper - Okay, so I risked getting canned and fired you game up at work....and now....I have to go home for clean underwear. Seriously, I crapped myself the first time that thing came out at darkness right at me. That being said, I agree with @Gibbo that he could be a "tad" forgiving. Maybe use the state indicator to better effect. Maybe give it a little more time in each state, so that the player has a better indication of how close to dead he/she is.
  • @FanieG well I intended those indicators to be purely for testing purposes (I have some other indicators for myself that I have disables for the build :P those help me not crap myself that often). I want to communicate things like the monsters state, his closeness, when the time is up, ect all with the use of in game events, which will mostly be audio.

    and yeah I'll make him less aggressive but more creepy ;) have some cool ideas how to achieve that. I also want to make use of light somehow. I thought about lighting torches, these will force the monster to avoid lit areas. but the idea was that the explanation for the 5 minute time limit was that after your time is up, the torch you carry will die,and the monster will see that as his opportunity. do through some unexplained monster magic make all the light across the maze go out?
  • Well, I made some major improvements to the dungeon generator. Better rooms, corridors and... doors are being spawned now :D now they just need their functionality. It sounds kinda trivial, but wow that was a lot of head scratching. (no more really narrow corridors)

    Now as for the monster's interaction with the doors. I thought I would make doors automatically open and close for the monster (players will have to open and close it manually) and when the monster "opens" a door it will give it a speed debuff, so you would be able to slow it down that way. thoughts?
  • Do we use same link as before (i.e. 2nd build)?
  • @FanieG oh, I haven't put up a build of the new stuff yet. Possibly by tonight or tomorrow. I still mean to improve the AI before I put up the next build.
  • edited
    @Pixel_Reaper - new corridors are...much wider? Didn't feel that this was an issue in the previous build. Those narrow corridors made me much more nervous of running into the Lurker. I did not come across any doors. Is this already in the current build or is that next on the to-do list? Anyway, I like the idea of slowing the monster down with doors. This might be a silly question, but is there an exit, or is the point just to survive the 5 minutes?

    Oh that makes more sense. lol.
  • @FanieG corridors are now at least 2 units wide, it was possible with the previous code to get corridors that was 1 wide, some people had problems getting into the corridor when the monster was chasing them...kinda running into the corner and then the monster would catch up. funny to watch that happen...not so fun when it happens to myself :P and yes just survive 5 minutes. there will eventually be a way to escape, which you will have to open by solving some kind of puzzle. first version of that will probably be just getting a key. after that I want to have some kind of randomly chosen riddle. will see if it works or not :P
  • @Pixel_Reaper - okay, that sounds cool. The reason I asked was because I found that I could just hide in a corridor for the entire 5 minute period and the Lurker never found me. However, you should also note that a lot of my playtime was without sound, and since your game relies heavily on sound, I am unable to tell how close the monster ever got to me. Also, you are able to run away from that thing? Usually as soon as I saw him I was dead.
  • @FanieG yeah that does happen, while it is in the roam mode, it will randomly select a room, and then go there, once it arrives it selects another random room and does the same thing. so if you get lucky it might not go to some rooms or walk along certain corridors during the 5 minutes.

    at the moment in build 2 you can run away from it if you meet it in the right situation ;) if you are to close to it (within 5 units) it will attack you outright (unless you have a handy nearby turn). but if it finds you and stalks you at a distance you can outrun it and cause it to lose track of you. this will go better and more predictable in the next build though. I do kinda like it being unpredictable as that make it just that bit more scary. but it can frustrate if it happens every time right? the next build should bring the monster up to a total of 8 states. this makes it much more versatile. I will also be adding all the new sound stuff. so yes, playing with sound, though scary, will give you better awareness.

    thanks for testing :) I will see about making the monsters more decent at the roaming. I'm unsure what more i can do to give better indication of where the monster is other than sound, dont want to make it too easy :P but I'm looking into playing with light, so you could turn your torch off and hide somewhere and the monster might not take notice of you. doors will also help to give you a better indication of where the monster is, and help you run away, and make it a more creepy experience.
  • I'm unsure what more i can do to give better indication of where the monster is other than sound, dont want to make it too easy
    I agree with this. But what about using the sound even more. What about a heartbeat sound that gets louder/quicker the closer the monster gets to you. That way you have a better indication of just how deep in shit you are, and will lead to more frantic get-away action as opposed to see-him-but-i'm-already-dead moments. I'm curious as to the new states you are working on.
  • I can certainly experiment with it, I thought about just giving it some footstep sounds and maybe some breathing. Also keep in mind that it won't be that aggressive anymore, more likely to just stalk you, still a bad idea to threaten it though ;P

    I'm also going to see about taking the instant death out, so if you happen to catch it off guard it will be more likely to only injure you and then back off, just to give you a scare and a warning.

    states are: Idle, roam, stalk, flee, hunt, attack, howl, and possibly feast and ambush, those depends on whether feast makes sense and if I can get ambush to work the way I want it to. and I probably don't need howl as a separate state :P what can I say, curse the need for sleep!
    Feast will only make sense if I get a chance to put in other denizens. so these will give you some false scares, since they probably wont be very dangerous. but the monster will kill them if he finds them, making them scream wretchedly (hopefully creepy to hear from some distance away), and then he will feast on them (hopefully creepy to walk in on).

    as usual I'm being way to ambitious :P but I may continue working on this for some time after the deadline. I'm having lots of fun with this, and learning from it.
  • Wow this has come along great! Love the sound and I was just about to close it down when I ran into Cho-garth :P Looking great!
  • @RickyGC thanks :) next version should be another big leap in progress.
  • @GraviPy no I have not, but I see some similarities there (just had a quick look). I read something about being stalked from below, how does that work? Thanks for giving it a go by the way :)

    On a side note I will have a new build out by the end of the weekend
  • Not going to be able to put a build out tonight...I broke it...on purpose ;) I'll have a build out some time this week. lots of new stuff going on. currently trying to get items presentable. During your time with the denizens of the labyrinth you will find items to help ease your journey. So far planned items are: flashlight, lantern, bandage, knife, and pistol. If you have more suggestions I'd like to hear them :)

    I'll just leave this picture here
  • 1st post is updated with the new build. IMPORTANT! the new build is in a broken state, I just put it up to show some progress :) make sure to pic up the "lantern" (cube on ground) in the first room, do that by looking at it and pressing "E"
  • edited
    Holy crap, that was FREAKY!

    some notes:
    1. My mouse is *very* sensitive for some reason - I'm wondering if other people will have difficulty with my game.
    2. The sounds are awesome, the footsteps need to be a touch softer, but otherwise excellent.
    3. The music changing to upbeat after your 'grace period' runs out was very cool and you know the monster is out to get you.
    4. I spent around 1.5 minutes just trying to pick up the damn lantern, it's VERY difficult to do, especially when you look down, it looks like the camera is above your characters head, not in it.
    5. E to pick up the lantern, but F to open doors? huh?
    6. You can enter the portal without picking up the lantern - I assume you're still busy with that.
    7. I literally crapped my pants when the monster found me :P

  • @Nitrogen thanks for giving it a go :)

    yeah like i said, its all broken at the moment. everything is in a kind of limbo, half way between being thought up and being implemented :P

    1. Ill add that in an options menu once I get to that
    2. it was just fast and furious throwing them in there. Most sounds were made by Allen Purkiss
    3. thanks @Gibbo !
    4. its already easier :P there is now a crosshair, the item will also light up, and a "press Q or E to pick up" will appear
    5. there is a very good reason for that (at least i think so) Q and E will control the left and right hands respectively. so pressing E picks something up in the right hand, pressing it again will throw it, or swap it. F will be only for general interaction.
    6. well it will be in a nice chest in that room, I will not hold hands by teaching that items and exploration is important. It will become painfully clear after a go or two :P
    7. nice, did it jump you or stalk you?
  • @Pixel_Reaper that thing just stalked me and I wet my pants. Cool...but not cool
  • @FanieG it still gives me a fright haha. though he seems to get confused from time to time for no reason. Ill have to work on making it more reliable.
  • edited
    Gaah, I got jumped! Didn't have enough time to hear the monster though, perhaps if you have the monster roar sound play over a 'game over' screen or black screen when you're caught? Currently it skips straight back to the main screen when caught.

    I couldn't see a crosshair so it took a while to pick up that lantern, eventually worked out that you need to stand at quite a distance away from it (loading the game up first time without the lantern was pretty terrifying but short-lived since using lightning to navigate isn't an effective strategy)

    The doors are a great mechanic as I found myself debating whether to close them (to slow the monster down) or leave them open so I would know I'd been there if I was walking in circles.

    Glad the music works :) (noticed it cuts off at the end though, was the music length slightly too long?)
  • Hey @Gibbo thanks for giving it another go :)

    Crosshair and all that other juicy stuff should be in build 4 (maybe at the end of next weekend) thats if life doesnt keep wanting attention. yeah lots of stuff half finished or not implemented yet. I'll also be removing the insta death thing, see if i can squeeze in a injury system. also reading about lighting and stuff over on @Nitrogen 's entry I thought I would drain out all the colour from the game, except key things. and add some more stuff to the level as Nitrogen suggested

    haha glad the doors made you think. Now i should go ahead and be an ass and make the monster also know you have been there if it sees an open door ;)

    well the timer is actually 4:30 minutes, and then however long it takes the monster to catch you after the time has ran out. so thats why it was cut off. ill add a screen for when the monster has caught you. you know like, blood splashing on the screen with a roar, and then a cheesy comment "fluffy has added your spleen to his collection"
  • @Pixel_Reaper - you call that thing Fluffy?!?
  • @FanieG Fluffy on the inside ;)
  • @Pixel_Reaper - and all F*@k you on the outside :)
  • Made many improvements so far. I'll try and get a new build up by tonight.

    Currently I'm writing my monsters AI mostly from scratch. no more will it get confused, so more will it get jump scared by you and attack ;)

    this is the state interactions i'm going for:

  • Interested to see how this turns out!

    I've just put up a basic drone AI tester of my game in the other thread!

    I've gone a bit more basic than you. I've got:
    - Roam
    - Investigating (when a sound is heard from a certain place)
    - Sighted (when the player is seen by the drone)
    - Attacking (once the drone is up close and personal)
    - Lost Visual (when the drone looses sight of the player, it hunts around for a bit before going back to roam)
  • @Nitrogen very cool, I gave your build a go, I'll give you some feedback on your thread.

    Well mine is focused on the monster, so I try to get the monster as smart and complex as I am able to :)

    Investigating might be very cool, I havent gotten around to giving my monster any investigative talents haha, had thought of it though, make it listen to sounds, make it aware of doors that are left open, or open and empty chests, blood trails...all that good stuff :D

    I do have line of sight, though I want to expand it to have a view cone, so you can actually hide from it if you are say behind it.

    My monster also no longer instantly kill you. It will be a little mischivious by attacking you and teleporting away, or ambushing you.

    my search is simple at the moment. once it loses sight of you, it moves to your last known location. if it doesnt find you by the time it reaches the last known location, it goes back to roaming.

    overall, my monster still needs a lot of work before it will feel like a true thinking threat to you. that investigate stuff will go a long way to helping that
  • lol, I just won my own game for the first time. now atleast i know that works. monsters jump scare ability is OP, will have to nerf ;P saw a bunch of stuff i somehow missed O.o? atleast the optimizations seem to be working like a charm.

    2 big eye sores.
    1. where did the walls of the first room go? O.O
    2. he proves just how flexible his arms are when you he is carring the key
  • That sneaky bugger! Caught him running around behind me closing the doors I'd opened but when I got near he teleported away then stared at me from a distance. Creepy!

    The player model really seems to like stroking the walls when you get close :B

  • Lol, Thanks for giving it a go :) Yeah the monster succeeds in preforming some unintentional creepiness from time to time, should be even better (worse?) next update. yeah thought the wall wall thing would be kinda cool, turned out a bit silly
  • Haha, it looks like the player's wrist knows where it wants to go but the hand and fingers are like "Meh... I'm le tired."

    So I had two vastly different play throughs.

    On my first run, the monster spawned basically on top of me, I could immediately hear it being rediculously noisy with the doors and footsteps. Then I opened a door and the eyes were opening the same door... awkward... It stuck me in place for a moment while it escaped through me, down the corridor, but then it kept peering at me from around the corner. The eyes would fade away if I got too close, but I could then walk right up to them without fear of getting hurt - scariness broken!

    On the second try, the monster never switched off roam mode (until the time ran out), and never found me. I found the 'key', managed to fumble and pick it up but never found any exit to use it on. I found the little hinting light particles a very nice touch.

  • Ah cool, thanks for giving it a go.

    did you try walking away from the monster with your back turned to it?

    yes follow the lights! or should you? maybe they will lead you directly to the monster...or perhaps they will lead you to your objectives?
  • This is my entry's final build for the comp, there are many like it, but this one is mine.


    I will also put this up on the first post.

    as always I was overambitious and as such it is not polished to the level that I was hoping for. (But I have some very poor narrative now, so what does polish matter? :D) I made some TextToSpeech clips, it's just silly how well they worked out. monster should now also be a bit more active instead of vigorously stalking around a deserted corner of the labarinth. tell me about what you guys experiance while playing it :D
  • This game is schizophrenic... Every time I play I get a completely different scenario. This last time I started in the key room. I still havent been able to find the exit yet - I'm not even sure what I'm looking for, it's all just a maze to me.

    The voices.. dont work for me I'm afraid. I like my demons without an american accent and a slight hitch to their voices :P
  • It looks just like the portal in the first room.

    Can you imagine a demon with an afrikaans accent? trust me you dont want to go there :P
  • Haha fair enough, but by making the demon have human characteristics (speaking) it becomes more understandable, more human, less scary.

    It would be pretty funny to match the enemy's voices from Far Cry 2 with your demon though... "Ek het hom hier!" om nom nom nom
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